Harry Pratt Wareham, lifelong resident of Manhattan and integral member of the city's history, is the namesake for Harry's. His admiration for Manhattan and its residents was apparent in his commitment to growth of the community. An article appearing in a 1913 edition of The Daily Mercury stated "His sole aim was to provide conveniences for the citizens of the city...He started by establishing a sewer system which was followed by the telephone system and from time-to-time by the Wareham theatre, the Wareham ice company, the Wareham airdome and during the last year, he has capped all his former enterprises by the enlarging of the Wareham buildings on Poyntz...and building the College Inn."
One of Mr. Wareham's most impressive contributions to the city stands tall today. The Wareham Hotel had the affinity to be "...a monument to the loyalty of Mr. Wareham to the town." Construction began in 1925, with aspirations to be Manhattan's first "skyscraper." This six-story, steel-reinforced building had no equal at the time in the area. Plans for construction included dining rooms, a coffee room and lobby on the main floor; with a parlor, ladies' dressing rooms and hotel rooms on the second floor. The third and fourth floors boasted hotel rooms, and the fifth and sixth floors were lavish apartments. At the building's top, a private bungalow residence for Mr. Wareham was constructed.
Mr. Wareham spared no expense during the building's construction. An article in the March 7, 1928 Manhattan Mercury mentioned its extravagant materials and incredible artisanship. Soon after opening, the hotel became immediately known for its beauty, fine dining and lush surroundings.
Manhattan's flood in 1951 took an immeasurable toll on the building. The lobby filled with seven feet of water, and the building's fine furnishings and expert artisanship were included in the devastation. Renovations began in 1984 to restore the Wareham to its original glory. The building's transformation turned the upper floors into apartments, and the main level into Harry's–named, of course, for the man who started it all.
Early photos of the Wareham's on this site are provided by the Wareham family and donated to the Riley County Historical Society.